Roundup: Celebrity Apprentice, Chris Dawson, Paul Kent, Leaders Debate + more

Celebrity Apprentice

Plus: The Great Upskill, Nine v Mark Latham, Ben Roberts-Smith, Seven News apologises, and Tony Jones

Business of Media

HubSpot, Google, MessageMedia, Aircall and Meltwater dedicate a day to upskilling

HubSpot has announced the launch of ‘The Great Upskill’, which will see brands across APAC give their employees a full workday during the week of May 9–13 to dedicate to upskilling and job-related learning. 

Among the brands taking part include Google ANZ, MessageMedia, Meltwater, Seismic, and Aircall.

The movement comes on the back of new research from the customer relationship management (CRM) platform found over two thirds (71%) of Australian workers wish their employer placed higher importance on job-related learning and upskilling, with a further four out of five saying it’s bumped to the bottom of the to-do list when work gets busy. 

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Nine vows to report Mark Latham to authorities after offensive tweet

Channel Nine has vowed to report NSW One Nation MP Mark Latham to authorities over an allegedly racist tweet he posted during Sunday night’s televised leaders’ debate, reports SMH‘s Karl Quinn.

At 9.56 pm, Latham tweeted “Abo has lost control”, a reference to the debate’s moderator, Sarah Abo, struggling to make herself heard above the crossfire as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese regularly interjected each other.

At 10.10pm, Latham, the leader of One Nation in the Upper House of NSW state parliament, posted the tweet that sparked the backlash and led to Nine managements’ condemnation.

“Never trust an Abo with something as important as that,” he wrote.

Despite being widely condemned on Twitter as a racist slur Latham pleaded innocence, telling The Daily Mail on Monday morning that the response was “an example of how the Outrage Industry fails to understand how words can have multiple meanings, and the true meaning lies with the speaker, not necessarily the listener”.

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News Brands

Second leaders’ debate watched by 950,000

Sunday night’s leaders’ debate was watched by a total audience of 950,000 across the Nine Network, the most viewers since 2013, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

On the 9Network, which is owned by Nine Entertainment, the publisher of The Australian Financial Review, 641,000 metro viewers tuned in, with an extra 263,000 regional viewers. On 9Now, there was a live and on-demand audience of 46,000.

The debate won its timeslot, outrating 7News’ Spotlight, which did not make the top 20 shows of the evening, and Network Ten’s repeat offering of FBI.

However, thanks to its 8.45pm timeslot, it was only the fifth most-watched metro program of Sunday evening, with Channel Nine’s Lego Masters, which aired directly before the debate, watched by 644,000 metro viewers while Seven’s The Voice, which aired from 7pm to 8.50pm was watched by 766,000 metro viewers.

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Soldier likely to support war hero Ben Roberts-Smith

After almost a year before the court, the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial is set to reach a critical juncture as an SAS soldier known only as Person 11 steps into the witness box to contest the Nine newspapers’ centrepiece claim: that he and the Victoria Cross recipient murdered an Afghan farmer, reports News Corp’s Stephen Rice.

The newspapers allege Roberts-Smith kicked the handcuffed Ali Jan off a cliff in the ­village of Darwan in September 2012, and then – with Person 11 – dragged him aside and killed him.

Person 11 is expected to deny that claim on Tuesday when he testifies in the Federal Court about what he saw – and did – as SAS soldiers raided Darwan in the hunt for a rogue Afghan army sergeant who two weeks earlier had killed three Australian soldiers.

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Seven News apologises after wrong identifying ‘COVID conman’

Seven News Melbourne last week was forced to apologise to a man it wrongly identified as stealing $180,000 from a Victorian COVID support fund, reports TV Tonight.

Media Watch last night reported Seven’s story on the “COVID Conman” came with footage of horse coach and trainer Alistair McLean it wrongly identified as conman Jackson Stern.

Peter Mitchell told viewers, “…we mistakenly included images of Alistair McLean of McLean Sport Horses. Mr McLean and his business are not connected in any way with Jackson Stern or the criminal charges against him. We apologise for our error in including those images.”

The story last Wednesday was even repeated nationally that night on Seven’s The Latest.

“And that was after McLean had contacted the network to complain,” ABC’s Paul Barry revealed.

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Chris Dawson case: Podcast with officials ‘extraordinary’

Interviews with prominent public officials on a podcast investigating the disappearance of Lynette Dawson was the “most important feature” in the decision to grant murder accused Chris Dawson a judge-only trial, reports News Corp’s Remy Varga.

NSW Supreme Court judge Robert Beech-Jones said the discussion of whether Dawson killed his wife Lynette, a mother from Sydney’s northern beaches, with three key officials was an “extraordinary feature” of the The Teacher’s Pet podcast.

“One extraordinary feature of the podcast is the expression of opinions on the accused’s guilt by three former public officials with important roles in the criminal justice system and who were not part of any of the police investigative teams,” Justice Beech-Jones said in a judgment released on Monday.

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How producers cast Celebrity Apprentice

Lord Alan Sugar returns to Nine soon for his second season of Celebrity Apprentice in Australia, reports TV Tonight.

Once again actors, presenters, singers, sports stars and social media faces will compete for glory and the $100,000 prize for their chosen charity.

Filmed in late 2021 in Sydney, the show was challenged by COVID restrictions, but the talent pool was wide given so many artists had lost work during the pandemic.

Warner Bros. International, Head of Entertainment, Caroline Swift explained the casting process to TV Tonight as the show negotiates between agents and Nine network.

“With Celeb Apprentice we put together a big wish list of people usually in ‘pools.’ We know we want an actor, someone good on social media, we always need singers and dancers because they’re the ones who will give us the colour and movement and performance-based things. Sport are always super competitive. So we tend to bucket them like that,” she said.

“We have an initial meeting with the Nine execs, where they’ll throw in their own thoughts. It’s a lengthy process and a difficult process.”

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Paul Kent fires back at social justice hypocrites backing Anthony Maroon

What has followed Maroon’s walkout two Sundays ago since is a solid distortion of facts where Maroon has somehow emerged as a sympathetic victim of bullying, which suggests a man attacked without the ability to defend himself, writes Paul Kent.

Most allegations have come from those who have never listened to the show or who don’t have an understanding of what happens every week, making their accusations naive.

Maroon’s fear of the Australian Tax Office, and that he loved cash jobs, was a consistent joke on the show.

The pile-on for Hooper, both in social and mainstream media, is ten-fold to what Maroon copped yet none of these mental health warriors have considered that, instead taking comfort in being part of the righteous majority.

We live in a world of snowflakes, sadly.

Maroon is being repositioned as a champion of the cause, even doing a victory dance last Friday when he was congratulated at a function for standing up to us, his persecutors.

There once was a time when lunatics on soapboxes in Hyde Park were put in the asylum.

They progressed from that to writing on the back of dunny doors.

Nowadays they live on Twitter and quickly demand not justice but a win at all costs victory, whatever the collateral damage, and since Sunday they have been tweeting hard, asking where is my apology.

Well, that won’t be happening.

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Sport Media

Tony Jones “had enough” of jibes from Sunday Footy Show colleagues

Tony Jones insists the Sunday Footy Show panel is “as tight as ever” despite some members describing recent tensions as fractious, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

It all centres around the show’s humorous segment, What Caught My Eye, where the panel find funny clips or stories about each other.

Damian Barrett and Nathan Brown conceded things may have gone too far when Jones took exception to old footage being replayed of him struggling to pronounce names of tennis players while reading the sports news on Nine.

Even retired panel member Billy Brownless weighed in, telling Time On that Jones deserved a break, particularly from the long-time “chompers” jokes, which are a favourite of Brown, Kane Cornes and Matthew Lloyd.

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